Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Banned Book Day 3 - The Giver

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry depicts a utopian future in which Sameness had taken the place of competition, emotion, weather, sickness, and more.  People are assigned their jobs, their spouses, and their children, and function in these roles until they are "released."  Released, we find out, is simply a euphemism for euthanized. One person is selected from each generation to be the holder of the memories of the time before Sameness.  This book emphasizes the need for calculated risk, bravery, and love.  Yet, it has been banned for everything from occult themes (the memories are transferred through a combination of touch and some sort of psychic-like connection), to lewdness (the boy stops taking the pills that repress all sexual desire), to -unbelievably- being pro-euthanasia.  Lois Lowry once spoke out about the frequent banning of her book, saying, ."I think banning books is a very, very dangerous thing. It takes away an important freedom. Any time there is an attempt to ban a book, you should fight it as hard as you can. It’s okay for a parent to say, ‘I don’t want my child to read this book.’ But it is not okay for anyone to try to make that decision for other people. The world portrayed in The Giver is a world where choice has been taken away. It is a frightening world. Let’s work hard to keep it from truly happening.”

Today's Prompt: Write a short story in which a character's ability to make decisions or choices is severely inhibited by an internal or external force

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